Quantcast

Lets talk about LARD

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Jbarrett

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
I currently create my soaps using Palm Oil. I buy sustainably but am concerned about the environmental impact from harvest.

Lets talk about lard and its impact on your recipe and sales.
 

reinbeau

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 24, 2013
Messages
822
Reaction score
746
Location
South of Boston, MA
Love lard. I will not cater to the no animal fats crowd, so I don't care about sales to them, they can buy from someone else. I get my lard from my neighbor across the lane up in Maine, those hogs are raised well, happy piggy lives, I get the lard from him, render it myself and make wonderful soap with it. Waste not want not.
 

Dorymae

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
1,544
Reaction score
1,386
Location
Buckeye, Arizona
Lard makes awesome soap. There is no doubt about it, IMHO it is one of the top soaping oils. Most of my soaps contain lard (about 80-90%). The other 20% is what I consider specialty soaps; castille, or vegan soaps.

In sales lard would be the clear winner. Most people honestly don't even mention the ingredients. I would say maybe 1 person in 25 will comment or ask a question. I think most people have some inkling of what makes soap- oil and lye- and they know soap is not oily - most realize a soap is not its oil.

Even the slightly to very crunchy people don't usually ask (although most questions do come from them) they just go straight to the Vegan soap section.

I will add here that I will not use Palm oil, because it is not yet regulated thoroughly enough to prevent the deaths of orangutans and the clear cutting of forests. They are trying, but currently anyone can have "sustainable" on their oil by simply promising to change their operations within 5 years. (If they do not, nothing happens other than losing the "sustainable" label - of course they can just re-up and make the promise again)

For me lard is better. The animals don't die for the fat they produce, they die for the meat- the fat is a byproduct that is usually thrown away.
 
Last edited:

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,209
Reaction score
10,054
Location
Southern California
I happen to use both. I love lard, but equally love palm and use it for vegan soaps. Not trying to get into any palm debates, but our country is still one of the lowest users, and it gives people work and puts food in the tummy's of their kidlets. My customers expect to get 3-4 weeks from a bar of soap and I just find palm the best for my vegan soaps since coco butter is just not cost effective
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
"They are trying, but currently anyone can have "sustainable" on their oil by simply promising to change their operations within 5 years. (If they do not, nothing happens other than losing the "sustainable" label - of course they can just re-up and make the promise again)".

I didn't know that, it is ridiculous. Why even bother to have that exception? It seems to me anyone who promises to change rather than doing it right away is not really on board anyway. Also that it actually *hurts* the cause by misleading people who care about purchasing responsibly produced palm because those soaps say they contain them but don't.

I love lard, too, it is my favorite oil. I think most vegans are pretty careful about what they consume, so I assume they are actually checking their store bought soaps to make sure they do not contain animal fats. The people who amuse me are the ones who are generally squicked out about using lard/tallow in homemade soaps, but typically use store bought ones/syndets that almost always contain it.

This has been posted before, but worth a re-post, link from a vegetarian soaper who uses lard in soap:

https://www.google.com/search?q=why+i+love+lard+in+soap+and+you+should+too&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
 
Last edited:

OliveOil2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
856
Reaction score
348
Exactly what Dorymae said, most people don't even ask about ingredients, I doubt if I even have one in twenty-five. For the area I live in it is all about fragrance first. I am surprised how few people even ask for Essential Oil only or Plant based. This part of California is supposed to be very Earthy Crunchy, but I don't get that feedback from the soap I make. I display my ingredients and label, but nobody seems to care.

I have a friend that doesn't use animal products due to religious reasons, and I make some plant based batches for her and others that may feel the same way. But it is difficult to come up with a bar that will rival lard. I think I am finally happy with a couple of veg recipes, that I feel are good.
 

soapmage

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
158
Reaction score
130
Well I got 50 lbs of the "sustainable" palm from SC and am NOT going to just throw it away. It's here and I'm using it all up. When it's gone, I'll decide what to do. I'm in the deep south here in lower AL and you'd think that lard soap wouldn't be a problem, but at my show yesterday, I actually had several people ask if I did vegetarian soap and I said yes and they bought them. Some didn't even look at the back for the ingredients at all, it was almost 50/50 really. I love my soaps made with palm and if I decide to quit using it when mine has run out, I guess I'll just make the oils and butter soaps without either animal fats or palm. My brand is touted as using vegetarian ingredients and I don't see myself changing that too soon if ever. But I have absolutely no problem with animal fats in soaps... in fact I use 2 that I bought from fellow soap makers in my bathtub right now. I guess my final decison will be one of those "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it". :)
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
Mage, I'm not opposed to using palm per se, just opposed to people who sell it saying it *is* sustainably produced when it is not, ie; the manufacturers/distributors of palm oil (I suppose this is the point at which it happens, Dory?) who (a) know it is unsustainably produced; (b) "promise" - to whom do they do this, anyway, some kind of certification agency? - that they plan to change their ways in five years; (c) and sell it as "sustainably produced". Now I am confused as to how anyone who buys sustainably produced palm oil can ever know if it actually is or not. I don't use it very much myself, but was assuming that I was paying extra for the sustainable part ...

Is this a widespread practice among the suppliers most people use? I buy oils, including palm, from BB, NG, WSP, SC. Does anyone know if these folks actually verify their palm sources?

I don't sell soap myself either, but have never had anyone I give it to ask about the oils, they just care first about how it smells, and then about how it feels.
 
Last edited:

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
15,206
Reaction score
9,388
Location
Michigan
I too use both but mostly use Palm. We have a very large Islamic population and they won't purchase soap with lard. I love both and will continue to do so. It's certainly a personal decision.
 

soapmage

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
158
Reaction score
130
Mage, I'm not opposed to using palm per se, just opposed to people who sell it saying it *is* sustainably produced when it is not, ie; the manufacturers/distributors of palm oil (I suppose this is the point at which it happens, Dory?) who (a) know it is unsustainably produced; (b) "promise" - to whom do they do this, anyway, some kind of certification agency? - that they plan to change their ways in five years; (c) and sell it as "sustainably produced". Now I am confused as to how anyone who buys sustainably produced palm oil can ever know if it actually is or not. I don't use it very much myself, but was assuming that I was paying extra for the sustainable part ...

Is this a widespread practice among the suppliers most people use? I buy oils, including palm, from BB, NG, WSP, SC. Does anyone know if these folks actually verify their palm sources?

I don't sell soap myself either, but have never had anyone I give it to ask about the oils, they just care first about how it smells, and then about how it feels.
Oh I feel ya! Now I question the 50 lbs I got from SC that claim it as RSPO. That's the inner debate I'm having with myself now as to continue using it after I use mine all up I currently have.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
9,907
Reaction score
7,272
Location
Idaho, USA
Personally, I prefer lard by a large margin. In my opinion, it makes a superior bar of soap. Palm is nice too but not as nice as lard. Lard also is cheaper, easier to find locally and it slows down trace so swirling is easier.
 

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,912
Reaction score
3,047
Location
Near Charlotte NC
I love lard in soap and use it as my primary oil in most of my recipes. I don't sell, but none of my friends and family care about it at all. I'll be making a few batches for colleagues the next time I visit (I work remotely). There is a wide variety of religions and dietary restrictions among them. So I plan on making salt bars. No one seems to have strong opinions about coconuts...

When I was a vegetarian, I absolutely checked labels for everything I bought. I would have been happy to purchase soaps from someone that used animal fats in their products so long as they had vegetarian options available for me to buy.
 

Dorymae

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
1,544
Reaction score
1,386
Location
Buckeye, Arizona
Mage, I'm not opposed to using palm per se, just opposed to people who sell it saying it *is* sustainably produced when it is not, ie; the manufacturers/distributors of palm oil (I suppose this is the point at which it happens, Dory?)
Well I'm not sure the distributors can be blamed. Imagine you wanted to become a distributor of palm oil. More than likely you would look for a manufacturer who had the "sustainable" label and buy from them. You would not really ever know if the actual plantation was sustainable or if they were "working towards sustainability". Even if you asked they would more than likely point out that their product is "certified sustainable". I doubt they would actually tell you if they didn't meet all the guidelines yet.

I have used palm oil before but only a few times. It makes good soap, and if I could be assured the plantations were truly replanting and not killing animals they considered pests (mainly orangutans because they eat the palm fruits) then I would use it. As I said they have at least made a start, but I believe they need to buckle down on the requirements and certifications now that they have a presence.

You have to understand that the RSPO is a business also so their first goal was to get members-any members and to do that they used a "relaxed" regulation to entice membership. I hope now that they are a bit more well known that they will truly begin to regulate the members to the standards they promote.
 
Last edited:

MorpheusPA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
777
Reaction score
738
The more I work with it, the less I see any reason to use anything but lard. It's functionally similar to palm, and very comparable to tallow, except the lard produces a nicer feeling bar of soap that seems to produce more creamy lather.

Mind you, you'll get me to stop using coconut, castor, and olive with it when you pry them out of my lye-burned hands. I find those play very well with lard and make a really nice bar of soap even nicer...

I actually just made a ton of gift bars tonight to use up more of my tallow. After it's gone, it's lard all the way.
 

Spice

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
674
Reaction score
223
Location
NorCali
I got like twenty pounds of tallow from the butcher shop for free. I havent used it yet because I need to find out how to melt and make useable for soap. I have it in the freezer and cant wait to see what it does. I know I wouldnt save the world or the rain forest and orangutangs that live it, or even the oceans, I try to make the best soap for people, I just dont use palm though, that's just for me. :clap:
 

Dorymae

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
1,544
Reaction score
1,386
Location
Buckeye, Arizona
I got like twenty pounds of tallow from the butcher shop for free. I havent used it yet because I need to find out how to melt and make useable for soap. I have it in the freezer and cant wait to see what it does. I know I wouldnt save the world or the rain forest and orangutangs that live it, or even the oceans, I try to make the best soap for people, I just dont use palm though, that's just for me. :clap:
I grind the fat or chop it fine then add it to water and boil the heck out of it until most has melted. Strain off the unmelted bits and discard. Let harden and discard the icky water on the bottom ( rinse the bottom of the cake as well). Then melt the cake and add the same amount of water - boil, let harden, discard water. Then do it once more or if the water is still dirty keep at it. You should end up with a very white cake of fat.
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,641
Reaction score
9,075
Location
Texas
^What Dorymae said! I cheated and threw ice into mine after I got the first melt and strain out of the way just to harden it faster. Worked a charm.
 

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
16,888
Reaction score
10,625
Location
Right here, silly!
After doing side-by-side comparisons some years ago with one of my formulas using lard in one batch and palm in the other, the lard batch won hands down by far. I found that there was such a pleasant, creamy 'oomph' to the lard batch that was sadly lacking in the palm batch.

I don't sell, but I gift away lots of my soap to family and friends (and some of their friends by extension), and so far, no one has made even the slightest quibble about me using animal fats in my soap (I fully label all my soaps FDA-style in spite of not selling, btw). They really couldn't care less if they are animal-based or veggie-based. The fact that the soap is homemade by me, lathers well, feels great on their skin, and (most importantly, it seems, lol) smells great, is all that matters to them. I do use palm in the form of PKO, though. I like how it performs in conjunction with CO in my soap.


IrishLass :)
 

ngian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
567
Reaction score
459
Location
Athens, Greece (Very Hard Water)
I found that there was such a pleasant, creamy 'oomph' to the lard batch that was sadly lacking in the palm batch.
Well after my induction to the usage of lard from many soapers over here, I'm not regretting either the experience one can feel with the specific oil. IrishLass' 'oomph' feeling might be described by me as lather that is creamy, thick, silky and somehow honey like viscosity.

One remark I have to make though, although this must be due to lye concentration that is used to my two lard soaps that I've tested so far.

1) Lard 53, OO 17, PKO 25, Castor 5, lye concentration 33% (only water as a liquid), sugar 2%, curing for little over 3 months

2) Lard 75, PKO 25, Castor 5, lye concentration 28% (little water and mostly beer), sugar 2%, curing for little below 3 months.

They have 2 weeks time difference, and their last long number (palmitic+stearic) is for 1) 27 and 2) 33.

But the second one seems to me that is way more soluble in water than the first one, and I'm wondering if it is for the amount of liquid that was initially used and/or maybe for the reason that there may be more sugars in the second one. Does the second one needs more time to cure (water evaporation) in order to reach the water solubility of the first one, or the sugars made it more soluble forever in its life span?

Edit to add: Although the first one has a "bubbly" number of 21 and second one of 18, thus the second one creates more easily bubbles so I guess it has to do with the amount of sugars that were used that made the soap more soluble and thus more soap in a wash creates more bubbles...
 
Last edited:

Spice

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
674
Reaction score
223
Location
NorCali
I grind the fat or chop it fine then add it to water and boil the heck out of it until most has melted. Strain off the unmelted bits and discard. Let harden and discard the icky water on the bottom ( rinse the bottom of the cake as well). Then melt the cake and add the same amount of water - boil, let harden, discard water. Then do it once more or if the water is still dirty keep at it. You should end up with a very white cake of fat.
OMG! I will be doing that. It sounds so thrilling to me. I cant believe that boiling fat is thrilling to me! I hope I ok?:razz: Thank You!
 

Latest posts

Top